The View From Down Here #34

I am running late yet again, so let’s just do this.

And thus endeth the NBL as we have come to know it…
NBL – Grand Final
Final Game:
South Dragons 102 def Melbourne Tigers 81
Souths are the champion team.
WNBL – Grand Final
At least this one was interesting to watch
Canberra 61 just def Bulleen 58
A really good game… and thanks to ABC2 in Australia for broadcasting it so we could all enjoy it!

International Cricket
Second Test

Australia 352 & 5 dec/331; South Africa 138 & 370; Australia won by 175 runs
Twin centuries from new boy Hughes was the highlight. In this column I’ve been pressing for his selection, and now he has made it, he has justified that selection. The bowlers also, especially in South Africa’s first innings did well. South Africa, however, seemed to crumble under the high expectations of their home crowds. Which is a shame because if ever these two teams face one another with full confidence, full strength and no outside distractions, it will be the ultimate test match. Even if Ponting is still captain.
            Oh, and in response to a few, yes I will be Ponting-bashing for a while yet, no matter the results he is getting here. I am not a fan of his captaincy. Live with it.
Domestic Cricket
Sheffield Shield
The final game, a five-day affair between Victoria and Queensland, was completely ruined by Australia’s currently fickle weather. Not a real lot we can do about it; this time last year it was stinking hot!
            It is still going on as I write this, so result next time, probably.
ICC Women’s World Cup
Into the pointy end now…
Match 6, Group A
Australia 4/258; South Africa 197 (49.3 overs) – Australia won by 61 runs
Match 7, Group B
India 169 (48.4 overs); England 1/172 (38.4 overs) – England won by 9 wickets
Match 8, Group A
New Zealand 8/192; West Indies 8/136 – New Zealand won by 56 runs
Match 9, Group A
Australia 7/211; West Indies Women 7/164 – Australia won by 47 runs
Match 10, Group B
Pakistan 78 (39.5 overs); England 2/82 (23.1 overs) – England won by 8 wickets
            And they did it with 161 balls to spare! Damn, this score is embarrassing…
Match 11, Group B
India Women 7/137; Sri Lanka 102 (44.2 overs) – India won by 35 runs
Match 12, Group A
New Zealand 5/250; South Africa 51 (22.1 overs) – New Zealand won by 199 runs
            Holy cow! Another embarrassment!
Match 13, Super Six
India 5/234; Australia Women 7/218 – India won by 16 runs
            Now this is more like it! But I guess once we’re into this super 6 stage it does show the differences between the top and bottom teams of women’s cricket in the world.
Match 14 Match, Super Six
England 5/201; New Zealand 170 (48.4 overs) – England won by 31 runs
Match 15, Super Six
West Indies 9/132; Pakistan 6/134 (47.5 overs) – Pakistan won by 4 wickets
7th Place Playoff
Sri Lanka 75 (39 overs); South Africa 1/76(28.3 overs) – South Africa won by 9 wickets
            Wow… I guess South Africa rather emphatically took seventh place!
Match 16, Super Six
Australia Women 9/229; Pakistan 122 (45.1 overs) – Australia won by 107 runs

Australian Rules Football
Pre-Season Cup (NAB Cup)
Grand Final

Geelong 0.18.19 (127) humiliatingly defeated Collingwood 1.6.6 (51)
            The Magpies were embarrassed, the game was boring, the Cats look the goods again this year, even this early in the season. The NAB Cup has been dull. It serves its purpose (practice matches with some meaning before the season proper) but this has been a yawn-fest. However, with the new rules in the AFL this year – including the rather confusing bump rule which basically means umpires can do whatever they want to whoever they want – and the fact that the coaches are going horrendously defensive to fight the new rules (which were put in place, and I quote, “to make the game go faster”) means this season looks set to be full of non-productive, dull matches which are more battles of attrition than entertaining contests of skill. Like soccer. But maybe that’s what the AFL hierarchy wants. Who knows? They certainly don’t seem to…
            Bring on the SANFL, that’s all I can say.

Rugby Union
Super 14 – Round 5
Stormers 56 def Lions 18
Crusaders 23 drew with Force 23
Highlanders 10 lost to Chiefs 14
Reds 25 def Sharks 13
Blues 46 hammered Cheetahs 12
Brumbies 21 def Waratahs 11

Rugby League
Hang on… some-one involved in this den of thugs actually played the sport this weekend? Without assaulting a woman? Or getting drunk? Or abusing a sponsor? O urinating on a police station? Really? Colour me amazed…
Round One
Wests Tigers 34 def Canberra 26
Sydney Roosters 12 slaughtered by South Sydney 52
            I would love to think this is the start of something amazing for the Rabbitohs, but you just know that by mid-season South Sydney will be near the bottom again and all their fans will just want to give up…
Gold Coast 34 def Newcastle 20
Warriors 26 def Parramatta 18
Cronulla 18 def Penrith 10
Bulldogs 34 def Manly 12
            Manly lost? Good. Arrogant bunch of…
Melbourne 17 just squeaked past St George Illawarra 16
Brisbane 19 also just squeaked past North Queensland 18

Asian Champion’s League
I covered this when Adelaide were in it, so it’s only fair I should when teams I don’t care about are also in it. Here’s the results of the first round for the two Australian teams playing:
Beijing Guoan 2 def Newcastle Jets 0
Central Coast Mariners 0 drew with Pohang Steelers 0
Great start, guys!

To Close
We performed this weekend, and I came away with two sprained ankles, sprained shoulder and my recurring knee injury making that joint look like a cantaloupe. But we went off. The crowd seemed to really like us, and when it came time for the final bows, the cheer we received nearly blew the roof off the place. The injuries were well worth it. And it seems to have led to offers of another 4 shows. Not bad for a bunch of over-the-hill, non-competitive gymnasts, eh? But we were but one amongst a plethora of acts which ranged from straight gymnastics to trapeze to acrobatics to cheerleading to aerobics to trampolining. Five shows, all sold out. Two nights of true variety and (I hope) entertainment. A Carnivale – Cirque de Gymnastique was the name of the show and if you can catch a clip of it, it’s well worth checking out. And that’s enough ego-stroking from me…

And that’s the view!

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